The Compliment Game
(Still writers blocked. Here’s an old story I’ve never posted before, it’s good but I always felt like it deserved a second part and could never come up with one. It works as a one shot but it just could be… y’know?) Eighth Year fic, 3K word count.
“Welcome to detention, lads,” Ruz Yarrow, their new Potions professor, said with a pleasant smile and a lovely Scottish lilt.
Draco kept his gaze locked on his hands in his lap. Harry bit his lip nervously. Professor Yarrow didn’t give detentions out often and they were rumored to the worst. Only no one would say what happened in them, and a bunch of kids with active imaginations only conjured the worst possible scenarios. It was all a little unsettling.
Professor Yarrow had that way about her. She was only five foot five and slight as a wisp, with curly brown hair that was almost always tied back, brown skin and eyes; and yet she was always a bit unnerving. It might have had something to do with the way she always seemed to be smiling like something delightfully awful was just about to happen. She was a very good teacher but took an inordinate amount of glee out of cauldron explosions. Sometimes she even caused them herself, as teaching examples. It was most of the student body’s opinion that the new Potions Professor had a very strange personality indeed.
Professor Yarrow circled around behind them, “See those cauldrons?” she stopped between their shoulders and pointed to the stack of cauldrons reaching the ceiling, stinking of sulfur and dragon liver.
They both nodded and relaxed just a touch, scrubbing cauldrons wasn’t that bad, it was sort of what was expected in a detention.
“Good,” Yarrow went on, “Keep them in mind now, y'hear? During this detention the two of y'are gonna play-” she paused, apparently for effect, “-a compliment game.”
“A what?!” They both blurted, turning around to stare up at her.
Professor Yarrow smiled that gentle unnerving smile of hers, as she walked around back in front of them, “Y'heard me. It’s simple, y'ken. Just take turns give'n each other compliments. If'n y'can’t, or y'say somethin’ a bit rude or cruel, y’ll washs a cauldron wit a dollop of elbow grease, while the rest of us watches you wit scorn and maybe mockery for bein’ a right silly bugger.”
Harry and Draco looked at each other with apprehension.